Monday, January 31, 2011

Illuminated Typography

For my first official design-related post, I am happy to share a designer whose work I obsess over--er, I mean--"admire greatly"......Marian Bantjes. For the past year or so, I have been "ooh-ing" and "ahh-ing" over her beautiful typography in ad campaigns like Saks Fifth Avenue and in the New York Times Magazine. She recently wrote and illustrated a beautiful book called I Wonder. This past November, Bantjes, introduced by fellow designer Paula Scher, gave a lecture on her new book at an AIGA NY event held at F.I.T. So, naturally my friends and I went. We even met her! (That is, if you count following her down the crowded streets of Manhattan "meeting" her.)

It is evident in both Bantjes' design work and creative process that she is inspired by the illuminated manuscripts of the Medieval period in Europe and the Middle East. Her work is highly decorative, often featuring delicate interlocking elements and detailed patterns. Bantjes incorporates everyday found objects in her work, creating intricate patterns with things like dried pasta and flowers. In her talk, she spoke a great deal about her process of designing, showing photographs of her home studio in rural Canada as well as video documentation of her creative process, noting that her pieces often takes days to create. You can't help but note similarities to the Medieval monks and scribes, working day after day to create highly-detailed one of a kind scripture manuscripts. Every visual element of her book I Wonder serves as an homage to the illuminated manuscript with embellished drop cap characters and gold decorated "carpet pages". I Wonder even has the same hefty price tag common with Medieval illuminated texts (a wopping $40 on, "hefty" at least for the average college student on a budget ;)

For more pictures and information about Marian's work check out her website:

And her Nov. 1st, 2010 AIGA NY lecture "I Wonder":

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hello cyberworld!!!! 
(or more likely, fellow students enrolled in my History of Visual Communications class) My name is Elisabeth, that is Elisabeth with an "S", but most people call me "Liz". I am currently a student living in New York City and majoring in graphic design. This is my first successful attempt at creating a blog, so bear with me.  As a creative person, I find inspiration constantly, so I plan on using this blog to share little things I like or find visually interesting. I have always be drawn to things that are antiquated, whether it be a classic novel, a period film, or my grandmother's costume jewelry from the 1950s. I am often found rummaging through odds and ends at thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales (or my mother's closet) looking for little treasures. These collected items inspire and inform my work as an artist and designer. Please feel free to comment as I welcome any feedback, discussions, and or suggestions!

Happy Reading and Cheerio!

* A note on the Title: I admit it. I am a self-proclaimed Jane Austen fanatic. The title was taken from one of Austen's many brilliant quotations, “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”

** I apologize that the header has that weird tan rectangle on the right side? I don't know why it is there but it is KILLING ME!!!!!